Read reflections and testimonies written by Holocaust survivors in their own words.

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  • Sorrow Follows Laughter

    Whenever my children were having a good time, laughing their heads off, not responding even to my warnings to stop, I used to tell them, “You will see that in the end there will be tears!”

    Tags:   agi gevaechoes of memory, volume 5

  • The Wicker Chair

    The first three years of my life, which I spent in hiding from 1942 until 1945, seemed very normal to me. Three adults—my mom, my dad, and our friend Selma—as well as my brother were around all the time. They paid attention to me, played with me, and taught me the things you teach a little girl. Of course, I did not realize that our life was only indoors and that going outside to play or for a walk were not part of our daily routine. The adults kept their fears from the children.

    Tags:   louise lawrence israëlsechoes of memory, volume 5louise lawrence-israëls

  • The Table

    The old family table now stands in the dining area of our house in Bethesda. The table was made in 1907 when my grandparents got married. It was made of solid mahogany wood in Holland. It was our custom to gather around it for big meals at birthdays, holidays, and any other excuse to be with family and friends. The table was made to seat 24. When it is closed, it seats eight, but you can pull it open and for each board you insert, another set of legs pops out from the bottom.

    Tags:   louise lawrence-israëlslouise lawrence israëlsechoes of memory, volume 5

  • Tata’s Last Word

    At dawn, the train jerked to a clanging halt. Those close to the bullet holes and cracks in the walls reported what they saw: “Armed German soldiers and Ukrainian guards, people—our people—behind barbed-wire fences, and chimneys. Oh! Borze drogi! Gotinew!” (“Dear God!”) People sighed. Icy fear spread from my chest to every cell in my body. I could not stop trembling. I felt as if it were the world shaking with a ravage force. I clutched my parents, forced myself to sit upright, and tried hard to stay alert. My mind was no longer entirely mine. It was doing things as if in a nightmare. After a short wait and solemn postulations about our future, we heard unbolting bars and rude shouts. “Raus! Raus! Schnell!” (“Out! Out! Move!”) And then they were upon us.

    Tags:   estelle laughlinechoes of memory, volume 5

  • How Did I Get from There to Here?

    My name is Nesse Godin and I am a survivor of the Holocaust.

    Tags:   nesse godinechoes of memory, volume 5

  • Opera in Auschwitz

    There were arias from La Bohème, Tosca, Madame Butterfly, and many more that I had heard one memorable Sunday afternoon in Auschwitz.

    Tags:   agi gevaechoes of memory, volume 5

  • The Sonderkarte

    By the end of 1940, about half of the population from our city of 28,000 Jews, plus the Jews brought in from the neighboring towns, had already been deported. The Dulag (transit camp) was always full to capacity with Jews awaiting deportation either to labor or concentration camps. Jews started thinking of ways that they could be useful to the Germans so they could remain in place.

    Tags:   manya friedmanechoes of memory, volume 5

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